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National Database Website Design Champions

Written by Dwight Bachman


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The Eastern Connecticut State University AITP Student Chapter Web Database Project Team, along with faculty advisor, Business Information Systems Professor Alex Citurs, right, receiving the national first place award from AITP President Beth Pirrie for the Web Database Project Team Competition National Championship.

Willimantic, CT -- On March 27 in St. Louis, MO, the Eastern Connecticut State University Student Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) won first place in the national championship of the Database Driven-Web Application Project Team Contest sponsored by the Institute of Certified Computer Professionals (ICCP).  The students were honored at the AITP's 15th Annual National Collegiate Conference.

The Association of Information Technology Professionals is the largest association of information systems and technology management professionals in North America.  More than100 universities and colleges of all sizes from across the United States and Canada participate in the annual conference. 

The Web database contest is a year-long project with student teams submitting multiple project documents and designs to the national judging panel. Each university or college is allowed to have multiple student teams competing in the competition with only the top 10 national teams being selected to present at the national conference.  The rules of the contest require that the student teams design and build a database-driven website for a non-profit organization (501.c.3). 


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Front row, left to right, are Paul Doyle, director of Willimantic's Covenant Soup Kitchen, Stephen Welch, Lynn Bartmess, Kacy Shafiee, Gloria Rivera, and Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez President. Back row, left to right, are Roberto Vasquez, Matt Thibeault, Ethan Harris, and Zach Flight.

Eastern's student AITP Chapter designed, built and enhanced a dynamic database website for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic.  The Student AITP Chapter first became involved with the soup kitchen when it established a pie-baking fundraiser for the nonprofit and other local Willimantic charities in February 2007.  The students maintained an ongoing relationship with soup kitchen, supporting their free meals, food pantry and other programs.

The Covenant Soup Kitchen website allows its director Paul Doyle and other staff members and volunteers to update information through an  administrator's database driven interface.   Features of the website include photo galleries, upcoming events, past news items, printable newsletters, volunteer activities, requests for food items in short supply in the pantry, affiliated non-profit organization contact information, as well as multiple methods to make donations; all that can be dynamically updated. 

Over the past two years, AITP students who are enrolled in the Organizational Website and Database Management course of Eastern's Business Information Systems Program have also designed projects to address Covenant Soup Kitchen's needs for food and supply inventory management, volunteer coordination, coordination of community service hours and tracking of services provided to members of the local community.   Other AITP student teams in the Organizational Website and Database Management course have also worked with and designed systems for other eastern Connecticut non-profit organizations as well.

Members of Eastern's student team include Ethan Harris, team captain from Ledyard, CT; Lynn Bartmess, Fairfield, CT; Zach Flight, Griswold, CT; Gloria Rivera, Willimantic, CT; Kacy T. Shafiee, Ridgefield, CT; Matthew Thibeault, Stafford Springs, CT; Roberto Vasquez, New York City; and Stephen Welch, Hauppauge, NY. Alex Citurs, professor of Business Information Systems (BIS) in the Department of Business Administration, serves as the the team's advisor. 

Flight, a BIS major, finished second behind representatives of the University of Iowa in a field of more than 250 national contestants in the Microsoft Corporation-sponsored Microsoft Office Solution Contest. Students in the AITP Chapter consist of Business Information Systems majors and minors with related majors and minors in various concentrations in Business Administration, Computer Science and other related academic programs. 

The Covenant Soup Kitchen's website can be found at:


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